At the beginning of the week, the US casino magnate Stephen Wynn addressed a federal court, asking it to cast aside a civil lawsuit that was filed against him by the Justice Department earlier in 2022, seeking a court order that Mr. Wynn must register as a foreign lobbyist for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the Department of Justice alleged that the gambling and casino mogul was acting as a foreign agent for China and a former official of the PRC that used to carry messages to then-President Donald Trump and his administration. Mr. Wynn addressed these allegations saying that he was only acting in the interests of the US by bringing this opportunity to President Trump. He also rejected being an agent of any Chinese official or the Chinese Government.
In his federal court filing, Mr. Wynn explained there were 3 major reasons for the federal court to dismiss the case against him:
- Compelling him to register under the provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act would be a violation of his constitutional rights;
- Even if the allegations filed against him by the Justice Department were true, his obligation to file under the provisions of the FARA expired as soon as the alleged conduct stopped a few years ago;
- The alleged conduct does not meet the legal standards for triggering the registration requirement that is part of the FARA
The government has until August 15th to respond to the motion started by Steve Wynn.
US Casino Mogul Denies Allegations He Was Acting as Foreign Country Agent
The complaint filed by the US Department of Justice in May 2022, pointed to messages that were delivered by Mr. Wynn to President Trump and his administration as part of a People’s Republic of China’s request to remove its national who had sought political asylum in the US. At the time, the DOJ claimed that it approached the casino mogul through letters in May 2018, October 2021, and April 2022 informing him that he was obligated by law to register under the FARA. Now, the Department is seeking an injunction from the federal court that would force Mr. Wynn to do so.
The US casino magnate now claims that under DC Circuit precedent, any obligation that he might have to register under the aforementioned piece of legislation, if the allegations we true, expired by October 2017, at the time when his relationship with the Chinese Government ended. Mr. Wynn also claims that forcing him to register under FARA would violate his Fifth Amendment and First Amendment rights, as such a move would contradict previous statements made by him to the Government to assert that he had never acted as a foreign country agent.
Furthermore, according to Mr. Wynn, the alleged conduct did not correspond to FARA’s definition of a “request” requiring registration. He also does not believe that it amounted to the type of political activities regarded by the aforementioned piece of legislation.
Wynn claims that the DOJ complaint alleges only that Sun asked the casino mogul to deliver a message from the People’s Republic of China to Trump Administration, and Mr. Wynn simply did so, while explicitly disclosing that the message in question originated from the PRC. He believes that simply delivering a message on behalf of a foreign country’s Government and checking on its status does not fall into the scope of FARA, considering the fact that he had not accompanied his efforts with any efforts to influence on behalf of the foreign Government.